It’s time. The Cowboys 2012 draft class is now in season three and we should see which of these players are the real deal and which are not. Bill Parcells would often say it was year three in which you know whether or not you have something with a player, a confirmation either way, good or bad.
So which of these players will make that confirmation, and have staying power with the Dallas Cowboys? Let’s look at the players we selected in 2012 and project who could be in trouble and who could be on their way to a second contract.
Round 1 (6): Morris Claiborne, CB
Let’s get to the elephant in the room. This is probably it for Claiborne, he’s signed on for four years, but at the rate of production or lack thereof, the Cowboys won’t exercise the 5th-year option. Claiborne needs to have an impact on defense, and he needs to stay on the field. Everyone is pulling for him to turn it around, including meslef, but we’re getting down to it this coming season. Mo wasn’t an injury prone player at LSU, so hopefully its just bad luck. We need him to lock up whomever he is covering on gameday, consistently. Let’s after people! All eyes are on Claiborne.
Round 3 (81): Tyrone Crawford, DE
Crawford was considered a steal in the 3rd round and had some decent production his rookie season under the 3-4. Unfortunately, he was shelved last year with the Achilles tear. For me, I think Crawford has the most upside from the rest of his draft class. He’s versatile, quick, and could be a perfect fit in Marinelli’s 4-3 scheme. This is a player I can’t wait to see in preseason. If Crawford has a solid year this season, the sky is the limit for him. Since we didn’t get to see him at all in the 4-3 last year, this season will be very pivotal to him. I’m expecting big things from Crawford and at the end of the day he could be one of the stars of this revamped defense.
Round 4 (113): Kyle Wilber, OLB
Wilber played good in his reserve-to-starter role last season, and he’ll be given the opportunity to have a starting role in this defense. If he can’t crack into the starting lineup, then he may be type-casted as a career backup. This is a big year for Wilber, he’ll need to turn it up another notch, he’s definitely shown some flashes. So, with another year in the 4-3, Wilber could shine, we need him to, especially with some of the injuries we incurred at linebacker last season.
Round 4 (135): Matt Johnson, S
How much more can the Cowboys cling onto Johnson? Probably not much longer. The guy is brittle, he had a medical coming out of college and it’s been a headache here in Dallas. I honestly, would not be surprised if Johnson didn’t make it out of minicamp. One more setback and he’ll likely be cut loose, so McClay can find another free agent safety to be in the mix and not on the sidelines. I mean, he has yet to make it out of camp. Can you imagine if he actually made it to an actual game? I have serious-serious reservations about Johnson making the team, its a wasted roster spot each year he’s been here.
Round 5 (152): Danny Coale, WR
Came out the gates injured, and was cut from the Cowboys. He signed a reserved/futures contract with the Steelers this past January.
Round 6 (186): James Hannah, TE
I put Hannah in the same exact boat as Wilber. He’s had some flashes in the passing game, but when the Cowboys draft another tight end the year after you were selected that’s not a good sign. If new Tight Ends Coach, Mike Pope can’t elevate Hannah’s game he could be out all together. The Cowboys were clearly looking at other tight end options during the draft process with the various workouts and interviews they had. Plus they brought in a few other undrafted rookies to compete. Hannah needs a break out season this year, or we’ll be moving on.
Round 7 (222): Caleb McSurdy, LB
McSurdy never made the Cowboys team as he was injured all the time. He’s currently with the St. Louis Rams on a reserved/futures contract.
Good, Average, or Bad draft class?
As a whole the draft class could head south real quick after this season, and do I dare say, could be just slightly better than the 2009 draft class? We have to avert such a disaster, and it all begins and ends with Mo Claiborne. We traded up and gave up picks to get him, and we need him to get to Patrick Peterson’s level, and it needs to happen now. Peterson was drafted the year before Claiborne and one spot higher than him, so you expect those players to be shutdown guys. We want Claiborne to be entangled in who’s the best corner in the league conversation; Peterson, Sherman, Haden. If he doesn’t pan out, the saving grace of this draft class will likely be Tyrone Crawford.
How are you feeling about the 2012 draft class?